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Our Workflow Process for Implementing IT Solutions in China

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As the world’s second largest economy, China is a crucial market for Western companies looking to expand their international operations. However, companies not familiar with doing business in China will have to overcome the daunting challenge of adapting to the country’s unique regulatory environment, logistics infrastructure, digital ecosystem, and business culture.

As a trusted provider of IT services with over a decade of operational experience in China, JET IT has helped countless international companies successfully establish offices in China. In the following article, we’ll explore workflow JET IT recommends for implementing IT solutions for your office in China.

 

Preparing for the China Market Entry

After having committed to setting up shop in China, companies must ensure they have a gameplan in navigating the local business and regulatory environment. Because of the huge differences in doing business in China versus in the West, your team will need to ensure your full IT infrastructure build and network stack is localized, from best practises to hardware. 

As with approaching any IT project, you’ll need to be ready to procure the IT hardware, software licenses, cloud services, mobile devices, and end user devices to deploy a full infrastructure build and network stack. However, it’s important to understand just how different launching an IT project in China is compared to launching one in your company’s home country.

Before project launch, your head of IT should be able to answer questions such as:

  • How do I procure the hardware?
  • What is a feasible deployment timeline?
  • If corporate IT standards are unavailable/incompatible with local infrastructure, what are the alternatives?
  • How do I navigate the Chinese firewall and internet restrictions and how will this impact my choice of cloud services?
  • How do I store and process data in compliance with local data protection laws and regulations?
  • What are the local laws and regulations?
  • What cybersecurity considerations should I be aware of?
  • How do I ensure interoperability between Chinese offices and overseas offices?
  • How do I manage and communicate corporate standards with the local team?

 

Finding the Right Local IT Partner

In business, building the right team for the job is one of the crucial keys to success. If you haven’t done business in China before, it will be necessary to find a local IT consultancy and integration partner to help you navigate deploying IT solutions in your China operations.

While there are many IT consultancies in the country, it’s important to choose wisely, as they serve as the liaison between your company and the local team in China. Look for one that:

  • Excels at Communicating Between Cultures

It’s imperative your local partner is fluent in the culture and business practises of both your company’s country and China.

For example, in Chinese business culture, there is a strong emphasis on “guanxi”, or personal relationships, meaning it will often take longer to establish trust with business partners.

Another important facet of business culture in China is the concept of “face”, which can be understood as someone’s public image and honor. Understanding how to properly show respect to someone for someone’s “face” is an important part of building rapport in Chinese business dealings.

Having a local partner that understands how to navigate the local business culture will help your company build stronger connections to the local market. 

  • Knows How to Navigate Chinese Laws and Regulations
    Local partners must be up to date on the latest Chinese laws and regulations concerning IT and cybersecurity.

    The regulatory environment of China is unique and constantly updating. Most foreign companies do not have a deeper understanding of China’s internet regulations beyond the Great Firewall of China. The differences between how China and your company’s jurisdiction regulates its cyberspace is not to be underestimated.

    For example, launching a website for your company’s China operations will most likely require hosting on a Chinese server, which requires companies to obtain relevant licenses.

    China also recently passed both the Personal Information Privacy Law (PIPL) and Data Security Law (DSL) in 2021. These laws are analogous to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but they have fundamental differences in scope, motivation, and penalties that companies must understand.

    With major penalties for noncompliance, running afoul of these laws and regulations can result in serious consequences.

  • Understands Your Company’s IT Standards
    While many local IT firms are experts at Chinese IT standards, they may have trouble helping your company if they are not familiar with IT standards of your company. Having a local partner familiar with both Chinese IT standards and IT standards of your company’s headquarters will be invaluable in ensuring your new Chinese office is interoperable with your existing IT infrastructure and network stack.

    For example, Google, WhatsApp, and Meta are blocked in China. If your company relies on any services from these platforms for communications, it will require local IT partners to be familiar with how to adjust communications protocols for the China office to be interoperable with global operations.

 

Role of the Local IT Partner

Now that you’ve picked a local IT partner to help with implementing your IT solutions in China, here’s what they can help you with:

  • Overcoming Communication Difficulties
    As a foreigner doing business in China, not only will you have to navigate the language barrier, but you’ll also need to be prepared for the cultural differences.

    A partner that can navigate between cultures and seamlessly switch between languages will help your company avoid the pitfalls of culture clash between the head office and local team.

    Having a local IT partner can help liaise with your local operations team in China and assume responsibility for smooth deployment, especially when you are managing the project remotely.

  • Adapt to the Local Regulatory Environment
    China’s legal system and associated regulations are very likely to be completely foreign to your home country.

    Having a local IT partner means having a Chinese entity help with compliance for laws and regulations that are only officially available in Chinese. In addition, a local IT partner will help with navigating the process of obtaining relevant permits, such as ICP permits for hosting websites in Chinese cyberspace, which is only accessible for those who can read Chinese.

  • Adjusting IT Standards for China
    Because of China’s unique digital ecosystem, created largely due to the Great Firewall, many IT solutions in China may be incompatible with IT standards established by your company in your home country. Local IT partners can provide alternative solutions to ensure interoperability with your home country’s network stack and IT infrastructure.

    A local IT partner will help you in navigating Chinese cloud services setup and identify the most suitable mobile carriers for your operations. Their expertise with China’s digital ecosystem also means they can provide localized software solutions to bridge IT standards.

  • Procurement and Vendor Relations
    Procuring the right hardware to meet your company’s IT standards can be difficult in China. An IT partner who has strong local vendor relationships and intimate knowledge of local logistics for procurement will be invaluable in ensuring your IT infrastructure is deployed on time. This includes everything from procuring laptops and company phones to WIFI systems. 


Why Choose JET IT As Your IT Solutions Partner in China?

Since 2010, JET IT has been providing IT solutions for multinationals and foreign-owned companies operating in China. Our multicultural team of IT professionals includes those fluent in English, Chinese, Italian, and a few other European languages. We understand how to bridge not only cultural gaps but also IT standards between China and various countries around the world. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish your company’s operations in China.